I love reading Forbes, and when they announced that around 80% of all small businesses in the USA are run by a single person with no employees.
My first reaction was, Holy Smokes that’s a lot of people running businesses! I find this interesting though because it brings up a couple of intertwined points that I chat about all the time offline – collaboration and brand awareness.
Brand awareness is the concept that people know your business exists and can provide a certain solution for them. It’s harder for smaller or less financially stable businesses to get the same awareness as major companies in the same space. For instance, I say “Coffee” and you probably think of a major retailer. There’s much less chance you think of the nice small business in your town.
So how do small businesses get the awareness they need outside of advertising? Ever heard the phrase “power in numbers”? That’s right…Collaboration is a great way for smaller businesses to gain awareness.
There is so much power in collaboration! I’ve met and been part of teams where the whole customer journey is done through collaboration allowing smaller businesses to stand a chance against better-known and often cheaper major players. The best part is that by having key partners you don’t have to be or do everything in your space.
Here’s a quick example: buying a house. There are a few different businesses involved in the process – The banks, the realtors, the mortgage people, the inspectors, the title people, and the notary just to name a few! They all work together to give the person buying the house as smooth a process as possible.
Collaboration also is a great way to get and share with customers. I partner with marketing agents, life coaches, business coaches, website-only designers & others. We pass clients to each other because it makes sense for us and benefits the client.
The thing is that collaborative partners change as the landscape of your industry changes. While you might work with the same key partners for years or decades, there will be others who change. People retire, go out of business and new industry niches and technology make it necessary to find different solutions to partner with.
The sum up is that as solo small business owners when we stand with others and create community, we have the power to benefit ourselves and each other. As one of my mentors says all the time “High Tide Raises all Ships” and that’s a truly beautiful thing!
All right…that’s all I got this week! Now go find those collaborative partners! If you think I might be a great collaboration partner for you. I’m just an email away!